Teaching and Demonstrating at Kent
As a Graduate Teaching Assistant you will be teaching on modules which form part of an undergraduate student’s programme of study at Kent (or, atypically, Master’s students’ programmes). Information about all modules can be found in the University’s module catalogue here: www.kent.ac.uk/courses/modules.
- University’s Credit Framework for Taught Programmes of Study
The University of Kent’s Credit Framework for Taught Programmes applies to all taught programmes of study leading to awards of the University of Kent. In order to be eligible for an award of the University, a student must take an approved programme of study and obtain a specified number of credits. The number of credits required will depend on the award in question (see Annex 4 of the Credit Framework). Each programme of study comprises a number of modules, usually at different levels and each is worth a specified number of credits. In order to be awarded the credits for a module, the student must normally demonstrate, via assessment, that he/she has achieved the learning outcomes specified for the module. Most programmes of study are divided into stages, usually equivalent to one year of full time study. A student must satisfy prescribed requirements for each stage of a programme before being permitted to proceed to the next stage.
As a Graduate Teaching Assistant, it is advisable to familiarise yourself with the University’s Credit Framework for Taught Programmes of Study and its annexes. The annexes provide a useful glossary of terms and information about qualification level descriptors, minimum credit requirements for awards, alternative exit awards, marking, resit marks, concessions, academic discipline procedures, the European Credit Transfer System (ECTS) and the academic appeals process. These can all be read at the following link: www.kent.ac.uk/teaching/qa/credit-framework/.
Should you have any queries about the Credit Framework for Taught Programmes of Study, please direct these to your School’s Director of Education or contact the Office for Quality Assurance and Validation QA@kent.acu.uk
- University’s Code of Practice for Taught Programmes of Study
The University’s taught programmes of study are subject to a Code of Practice for Quality Assurance. This Code of Practice and its annexes can be found here: www.kent.ac.uk/teaching/qa/codes/index.html. The annexes of the Code of Practice outline how modules and programmes can be approved or withdrawn, explain what information should be provided to students by academic schools, refer to how programmes will be monitored annually and periodically reviewed and outline the requirements of the personal academic support system operated by Kent. The annexes also outline the roles and responsibilities of Directors of Education and Education Committees within academic schools. Annex M explains how your undergraduate students will evaluate modules and Annex N provides an overview of how students are engaged in the quality assurance processes. As a Graduate Teaching Assistant, it is advisable to familiarise yourself with the Code of Practice as background information for your teaching.
Should you have any queries about the Code of Practice for Taught Programmes of Study, please direct these to your School’s Director of Education or the Office for Quality Assurance and Validation (QA@kent.ac.uk).
- Assessing Work and Giving Feedback
Annex 6 (Marking) of the University’s Credit Framework for Taught Programmes of Study outlines the approach taken to marking and the categorical marking scale. The webpages of the Unit for the Enhancement of Learning and teaching provide a range of information about assessment and feedback. Please access this information here: www.kent.ac.uk/teaching/assessment/index.html
Useful feedback engages students in a dialogue that will help students to:
- Understand the goals and standards they are expected to achieve: ideas include exemplars, draft work, mock tasks.
- Evaluate (self-assess) their work accurately in relation to the goals and standards expected: ideas include reflection on feedback, self/peer assessment, feedback diary and feedback dialogue.
- Apply strategies to achieve the expected learning outcomes: ideas include summarising feedback, action plan, linking feedback and feed-forward.
The following link provides guidance on developing the feedback dialogue with students. Please see here: www.kent.ac.uk/teaching/assessment/index.html?tab=feedback
- e. Identifying Plagiarism and How to Handle it
Plagiarism is a form of academic misconduct. Plagiarism may be committed in a number of ways, including:
- Copying another person’s work or ideas. This includes copying from other students and from published or unpublished material such as books, internet sources, paper mills, computer code, designs or similar
- Submitting previously submitted or assessed work of one’s own without attribution
- Submitting work solicited from (or written by) others
- Failing to adequately reference your sources
Plagiarism and duplication of material, as defined below, are cited in the regulations as examples of breaches of General Regulation V.3:
- Plagiarism: Reproducing in any work submitted for assessment or review (for example, examination answers, essays, project reports, dissertations or theses) any material derived from work authored by another without clearly acknowledging the source
- Duplication of material: Reproducing in any submitted work any substantial amount of material used by that student in other work for assessment, either at this University or elsewhere, without acknowledging that such work has been so submitted
What constitutes plagiarism for different subject areas may vary. Check in your handbook or with your lecturer and department for faculty specific definitions of plagiarism. Links to faculty information on plagiarism:
GTAs may find it useful to refer to the University’s Academic Integrity Website which provides guidance for staff members and students on plagiarism. If you suspect/identify plagiarism in a student’s work, you should raise this with the Module Convenor as soon as possible who should then take on responsibility for handling this case.
The University has academic discipline procedures which need to be followed in the event that academic misconduct is identified. The procedures relating to this can be found in Annex 10 (Academic Discipline Procedures) of the University’s Credit Framework for Taught Programmes of Study here: www.kent.ac.uk/teaching/qa/credit-framework/creditinfoannex10.html
- Signposting Students with Mental Health and Wellbeing Problems
If you suspect that a student in your seminar group or laboratory is struggling with their mental health or wellbeing then it is your responsibility to raise this with the module convenor so that appropriate action can be taken to signpost students to properly trained staff and services. GTAs should not attempt to deal with the situation on their own. The University has wellbeing services with trained staff who are able to offer free support to all enrolled students experiencing distress arising from psychological, emotional or mental health issues. GTAs may find it useful to refer to the Student Support and Wellbeing pages so that they have an overview of the services that are available to students: www.kent.ac.uk/studentsupport/index.html
- Supporting Students who require further support for their learning
Inclusive Learning Plans (ILPs) are created by Student Support and Wellbeing Advisers in Student Services. ILPs specify reasonable adjustments which will enable students to have appropriate arrangements for their programme of study, assessments and exams. For more information on how the process works check out this ILP flow chart (PDF) document. Please speak to your module convenor to find out if there are any students with ILPs in your class of whom you need to be aware before you commence teaching or demonstrating.
The Student Learning Advisory Service (SLAS) can provide a range of additional support to your students so you may wish to make them aware of this service. Support provided by SLAS includes one-to-one appointments, bookable workshops and online resources. GTAs should familiarise themselves with what is available on-line here: www.kent.ac.uk/learning/ so that they can advise their students accordingly when required.